Monday, April 27, 2009

2008 Read Aloud Award When Dinosaurs Came With Everything Ages 3-8

Get a WHAT!?

Free WHAT!?


Just when a little boy thinks he's going to die of boredom from running errands with his mom, the most remarkable, the most stupendous thing happens. He discovers that on this day, and this day only, stores everywhere are giving away a very special treat with any purchase. No, not the usual lollipop or sticker. Something bigger. Much, MUCH bigger. It's a dream come true, except...what exactly do you do with these Jurassic treats? And how do you convince Mom to let you keep them?

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything
By Elise Broach, David Small
Illustrated by David Small
Edition: illustrated
Published by Simon and Schuster, 2007
ISBN 0689869223, 9780689869228
40 pages
What if one day every merchant in town ...
... offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That's what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream—or a nightmare, depending on the reader's perspective on having a large dinosaur as a pet. In Small's comical, wonderfully expressive watercolor-and-ink drawings, it's easy to identify the mother's reaction to the bonus triceratops (free with a dozen doughnuts); stegosaurus (from the doctor instead of stickers); and pterosaur (from the barber instead of the usual balloon): unmitigated horror, inversely proportionate to her son's delight. The hulking beasts are irresistibly endearing, though, as they wait patiently, doglike, for their new owners outside all the town establishments and ultimately, once at home in the family's backyard, prove their worth as household laborers, cleaning gutters and rescuing far-flung Frisbees. In the end, the boy's friends bring their own newly acquired dinos over to his house for a poolside party—and he knows Mom has truly come around when she calls the baker for more doughnuts. (Picture book. 4, 5, 6, 7)
Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) 9/25/2007 VNU Business Media, Inc.
PreS-Gr 1 Age 3, 4, 5, 6 — In a playful take on the ...
... stickers and lollipops that bored kids sweep up at businesses as parents do errands, Broach imagines what would happen if a dinosaur were the giveaway of the day. A boy's increasing delight at the freebies he collects from the bakery, the doctor, and barber contrast with his mother's increasing panic and dismay as the lumbering beasts start to accumulate. When they acquire the fourth behemoth, Mom decides that the errands are done and whisks everyone home. Once there, she finds some unique ways to put the stegosaurus, triceratops, hadrosaur, and pterosaur to good use doing household chores. Small's sketchy, tongue-in-cheek watercolor-and-ink artwork perfectly captures the boy's exuberance, the dinosaurs' mass, and the hubbub that a city full of these reptiles would create. Dinosaur lovers will enjoy seeing their favorite creatures pictured and named, though the book's appeal won't just be for them. Both listeners and independent readers will appreciate the humor in the text, and the book will spark imaginations and discussions on what else might make great giveaways.—Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI

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